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Best 20-inch Kids Bikes for Ages 6 to 8

Category: kids bikes
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While 20″ bikes are generally the best fit for most kids who are 6, 7, or 8 years old, they can vary greatly in size, price, and features. From gears, to brakes, to frame size, kids’ bikes start getting a lot more complicated when your child is ready for a 20″ bike. We’ve tested out over 20 different bikes to help you find the best for your child.Why trust us? The kids riding bikes in the pictures below are our kids (as well as some neighborhood kids). We put bikes to the test – we don’t just rate them based on what others have said about them. Plus, with 9 years of bike testing under our belt, we’ve personally met and consulted with many top brands in the industry.

For Adults Only

Guardian 20″ Ethos – Best Mid-range

Best Mid-range

Guardian 20" Ethos - Best Mid-range Best 20-inch Kids Bikes for Ages 6 to 8

Guardian Kids Bikes Ethos. 16/20/24 Inch, Multiple Colors for Boys/Girls. Safer Brake System for Kids. Lightweight Steel Construction. Easy Assembly. ASO SharkTank. by Guardian Bikes 127 $279.00 $27900


Great brakes, great price!

Featuring SureStop brakes (the best braking system for kids), the Guardian Ethos comes with or without gears, and is available in small or large sizing.

SEAT HEIGHT: 20.8″ – 26.8″ (small), 22.5″ – 28″ (large)

WEIGHT: 20.7 lb.(s) and 22.9 lb. (l)

STANDOUT FEATURE: Unique & safe braking system

Best 20-inch Kids Bikes for Ages 6 to 8
Guardian 20″ Small

Pros:

  • Patented SureStop braking system for faster and more controlled braking
  • Low center-of-gravity design for easier balancing and maneuverability
  • Great quality build for the price
  • Fun, kid-approved designs

Cons:

  • Shifter on geared models can be challenging for small riders to use

Raleigh MXR 20 – Best Budget (Boys)

Best Budget (Boys)

Best 20-inch Kids Bikes for Ages 6 to 8

RALEIGH Bikes MXR 12 Kids Bike with Training Wheels for Boys Youth 2-4 Years Old, Blue by RALEIGH $189.99 $18999 


Durable build on a budget

With a sturdy build for the price, the MXR provides a comfortable and durable ride for neighborhood riders. With thick cushioning tires and a rear hand brake, it’s ready for action!

SEAT HEIGHT: 23.5″ – 29.5″

WEIGHT: 22.8 lb.

STANDOUT FEATURES: Lightweight bikes offering great quality for the price

Best 20-inch Kids Bikes for Ages 6 to 8

Pros:

  • Comfortable upright geometry for neighborhood riders
  • Durable and essentially maintenance-free
  • Fun contrasting colors
  • Higher gain ratio for faster speeds

Cons:

  • Rear caliper brake not as effective as testers would have liked

Raleigh Jazzi 20 – Best Budget (Girls)

Best Budget (Girls)

Best 20-inch Kids Bikes for Ages 6 to 8 Raleigh Jazzi 20 - Best Budget (Girls)

RALEIGH Bikes Jazzi 12 Kids Bike with Training Wheels, Purple by RALEIGH


Durable build on a budget

Cute, affordable and funtional, the Jazzi is a great bike for neighborhood riders. Featuring thick cushioning tires, a rear hand brake and a coaster brake.

SEAT HEIGHT: 23″ – 29.5″

WEIGHT: 21.8 lb.

STANDOUT FEATURE: Fun, cute designs

Best 20-inch Kids Bikes for Ages 6 to 8

Pros:

  • Lightweight for the price and size
  • Comfortable upright body position for neighborhood riders
  • Durable and essentially maintenance-free
  • Little girls love the ice cream sprinkles design!

Cons:

  • Coaster brake (back pedal brake)

Guardian Original – Best Braking System

Best Braking System

Best 20-inch Kids Bikes for Ages 6 to 8 Guardian Original - Best Braking System

Guardian Kids Bikes Original. 16/20/24 Inch, Multiple Colors for Boys/Girls. Safer Brake System for Kids. Lightweight Aluminum Construction. Easy Assembly. ASO SharkTank.by Guardian Bikes66$419.00$41900 


Brakes stop quicker, easier and safer!

Guardian’s premium Original line comes with a lightweight aluminum frame as well as their unique, easy-to-use SureStop braking system that prevents unsafe braking.

SEAT HEIGHT: 22.5″ – 28″

WEIGHT: 22.9 lb.

STANDOUT FEATURE: Fun graphics, unique & safe braking system

Best 20-inch Kids Bikes for Ages 6 to 8

Pros:

  • Patented SureStop braking system for faster and more controlled braking
  • Shimano Revoshift grip shifters provide smooth shifting (7-speed)
  • Low center-of-gravity design for better balance and maneuverability
  • Great quality build for the price
  • Fun, kid-approved designs

Cons:

  • Long wheelbase can be a stretch for kids with shorter torsos

Raleigh Rowdy 20 – Best Budget: Mountain

Best Budget: Mountain

Best 20-inch Kids Bikes for Ages 6 to 8 Raleigh Rowdy 20 - Best Budget: Mountain

RALEIGH Bikes Rowdy 16 Kids Bike for Boys Youth 3-6 Years Old, Green by RALEIGH $249.99 $24999 


A basic all-terrain budget bike (boys)

While built with lower-end components than our other top picks, it’s amazingly light for its price, is built with an easy-to-use Shimano grip shifter, and has responsive dual-hand brakes.

SEAT HEIGHT: 25.25″ – 29.9″

WEIGHT: 21 lb.

STANDOUT FEATURES: Great quality for the price

Best 20-inch Kids Bikes for Ages 6 to 8

Pros:

  • Quality bike for a very decent price
  • Sturdy frame and tires great for exploring off the paved trails
  • Lightweight compared to other 20″ bikes in its price range

Cons:

  • Low/flat handlebars limit the “best use” to aggressive riders and limit the comfortable seat height range

Raleigh Lily 20 – Best Budget: Mountain

Best Budget: Mountain

Best 20-inch Kids Bikes for Ages 6 to 8 
 Raleigh Lily 20 - Best Budget: Mountain

RALEIGH Bikes Lily 16 Kids Mountain Bike for Girls Youth 3-6 Years Old, Pink by RALEIGH $249.99 $24999 


A basic all-terrain budget bike (girls)

A great lightweight bike for the price, the Lily is perfect for the adventurous neighborhood rider as well as a basic trail rider.

SEAT HEIGHT: 25.25″ – 29.9″

WEIGHT: 21 lb.

STANDOUT FEATURES: Great quality for the price

Pros:

  • Quality bike for a very decent price
  • Sturdy frame and tires great for exploring off the paved trails
  • Lightweight compared to other 20″ bikes in its price range

Cons:

  • Low/flat handlebars limit the “best use” to aggressive riders and limit the comfortable seat height range

Cleary Owl – Single-Speed: Trail

Single Speed: Trail

Cleary Owl - Single-Speed: Trail Best 20-inch Kids Bikes for Ages 6 to 8

Cleary Bikes 20″ Inch Single Speed Bike, Lightweight, Owl, Multiple Colors by Cleary Bikes $531.25 $53125


Great for young aggressive riders

Our favorite single-speed machine for aggressive riders, the lightweight and nimble Owl will easily carry your young grom over everything from trails to jumps.

SEAT HEIGHT: 21″ – 26.4″

WEIGHT: 19.1 lb.

STANDOUT FEATURES: Aggressive geometry for adventurous riders

Best 20-inch Kids Bikes for Ages 6 to 8

Pros:

  • Stable and sturdy design instills confidence in young riders to try new things
  • One of the lightest 20″ bikes on market
  • Dual hand brakes
  • Fast and high-performing on varied terrains – it’s the FUN bike

Cons:

  • More difficult to assemble than expected

How to Choose the Best 20″ Bike for your 6 to 8 Year Old

Size

A 20″ bike is generally the best fit to buy for 6 and 7-year-olds. If your child is already 8 or is a very tall 7-year-old, also consider 24″ bikes as they would offer more room for growth. If a child starts on a 20″ bike when they are 6 or 7, they can likely continue to ride it while they are 8 years old.

Best 20-inch Kids Bikes for Ages 6 to 8

In addition to wheel size, pay close attention to the minimum and maximum seat height as they can vary widely. The two bikes shown above both have 20″ wheels but fit different size kids. The Priority Start on the left has a 22″ minimum seat height while the Raleigh Rowdy on the right has a minimum seat height of 25.25″! Make sure that you choose a bike that not only fits well now, but allows for plenty of room for growth. Don’t know how tall your child’s bike seat should be? If your child is a confident rider, it’s best to set the bike’s seat about 2 – 3″ above the child’s inseam. This will allow them to touch the ground with their tiptoes and achieve maximum efficiency while pedaling. If your child is very timid, you can set the seat lower to allow them to more easily touch the ground with their feet.

Weight

Ideally, your child’s bike will be less than 30% of their body weight. In most cases, the lighter the bike, the easier the bike is to ride. This is especially true with lightweight or petite children. Many 20″ bikes also come with gears, which can increase the weight of the bike, although it is minimal. Shocks on a 20″ bike, however, can add A LOT of unnecessary weight to a bike. Shocks on a 20″ bike should be avoided unless the child is riding really aggressive single-track trails.

Frame Design

The frame design on 20″ bikes can vary greatly as these bikes are often designed for a specific type of rider. A bike built for neighborhood use will place its rider in a more comfortable upright position while a bike built for more aggressive riding will place the rider in a much more aggressive leaned forward position. As a result, there isn’t one best bike for kids who are 6, 7 or 8-years-old. There are bikes that are best for different types of riders and different types of terrains.

Brakes

Generally, 6-year-olds are coordinated enough to properly use a handbrake. Handbrakes are much more efficient and have much more stopping power than coaster brakes. As a result, we give strong preference to bikes with dual hand brakes and NO coaster brake. Coaster brakes aren’t necessary and prevent kids from pedaling backward to help them regain their balance.

Best 20-inch Kids Bikes for Ages 6 to 8

Gears

A 20″ bike is the first time you have an option to purchase a bike with gears. For some kids at age 6, 7, or 8, gears might still be too much to handle! For less coordinated or timid kids, it’s just one more thing to worry about. Many great 20″ single-speed bikes are available that might be worth considering. For many kids, gears are a welcomed addition to their bike! Some kids quickly and easily take to gears, while others take time. Learning when and how to shift can be confusing and challenging. Often times age makes a difference in how a child responds to gears. 6-year-olds generally love playing with gears (i.e. shifting whenever they feel like it), but by 7 years old, their coordination has increased and they begin to use the gears more intentionally.

Best 20-inch Kids Bikes for Ages 6 to 8

Price

Good bikes are not cheap, and as bikes get larger, they get more expensive. Every bike on this list is significantly better than bikes at most big-box stores but also costs more. The more expensive bikes on this list are more lightweight, have higher end components, and frame designs that make them easier to ride. Adding gears also contributes significantly to the price.

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